Use of Plastic Checkout Bags is Now Banned

Use of Plastic Checkout Bags is Now Banned

8/21/2011

 

The East Hampton Village Board on Friday voted to prohibit the use of plastic checkout bags in the area. Before it was ultimately passed, a lot of comments were heard from people on opposite sides of the debate.

Linda James, a resident of East Hampton, said that a number of towns and villages in the state of New York have adopted similar bans. Ms. James is a conservation representative for the Garden Club of America. She said that it was the top priority of garden club members. She also praised the village as being “on the cutting edge of conservation initiatives.”

Another supporter of the ban, Dieter von Lehsten of the Sustainable Southampton Green Committee, presented the brown cotton bag that he revealed he has been using for nearly 20 years. He said that he just washes it down after every use and added that Southampton Village, which approved the ban on the bag in April, is only a “half step ahead.”

A member of the Citizens Campaign for the Environment, Maureen Dolan Murphy, pointed out that the ban that was passed in Washington D.C. has resulted in “an 80-percent reduction in one year.” Ms. Murphy also revealed that around 1.7 billion gallons of fossil fuel per year are used to create the bags. She said, “Each American uses 300 to 700 plastic bags a year. Every hour 200,000 plastic bags hit the landfills.”

Despite the seemingly considerable support, there are also a number of people at the meeting who aired their opposition to the ban.

The Food Industry Alliance of New York State vice president of public affairs, Patricia Brodhagen, said that her organization was in support of the goal but cannot support the ban.

WRITTEN BY:

blakeh@wellsdrew.com